Today I bring you a special treat. An interview with author, Jen Carter, and we talk about her book, Chasing Paris.
So give her a warm welcome.
Thanks for visiting the blog today. Why don't you tell us about your book.
My book is called Chasing Paris. It’s the story of Amy Winthrow, a young woman who is shocked when her grandmother dies—not because Elizabeth Hathaway’s death is unexpected but because her existence had always been hidden. Ever-inquisitive and prone to letting her imagination get the best of her, Amy embarks upon a journey with an unlikely friend to unravel the mysteries of the elusive Lizzie Hathaway. As she follows the trail of broken dreams and promises of her grandmother’s life, Amy finds herself on a path of accidental self-discovery—a path that she chases all the way to Paris where Lizzie’s story ends and Amy’s begins.
Who or what inspires your writing?
Writing is a way to engage our imaginations the way we did as children. It’s such fun to create characters, get in their heads, and try to figure out what they’d do or say in different situations. The thought of playing make-believe as an adult is what keeps me writing. Imagining what the characters will do next keeps me inspired.
When did you know you would be a writer?
In eleventh grade, I had an English teacher who told me that I had something to say. I had to work on my grammar, yes, but she could see past that. I had always liked writing, but that was the first time anyone outside my family recognized me for it. That motivated me to learn more and try harder.
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
I started Chasing Paris when I was in college—13 years ago. I put it on the back burner after college, went to graduate school, did some other writing, got married, and had two children. When my girls were babies, I went back to writing it. There were times when I was rocking an infant in a bouncy chair with my foot, holding a sleeping toddler in my lap, and typing on my laptop with one free hand. I was a sight! About three years after that, it was finally done.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part is knowing when to stop. I could revise a paragraph one hundred times and still find myself dreaming up different ways to present the idea. My husband sometimes says to me, “Stop! You’re done! No more changes allowed!”
Do you have any writing rituals?
This may sound silly, but the house has to be cleaned before I can really write. If it’s not clean, I find my mind wandering back to the dirty dishes in the sink and the unswept floor. Once the house is clean, I like to sit down with a cup of chai and play Dave Matthews on Pandora. Then I can really concentrate.
Have you written any thing else?
ChasingParis is my first piece of long fiction. I am currently working on my second book and hope to have that completed in summer of 2013.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Write every day. Make a schedule. Set goals. Then reward yourself once you reach those goals. A pedicure is my favorite treat.
Who are your favorite Authors?
Isabel Allende, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Steinbeck, Ovid, J.K. Rowling, Jan Karon, Ernest Hemingway. I feel as thought I’ve learned so much about the human spirit through their writings.
What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
John Steinbeck’s East of Eden was the first book I read that left a deep impression on me. I loved the description, the characters, and the plot. I loved it all! It was the first time I really understood how beautiful language can create a connection between readers and characters.
What are you currently reading?
Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries. I love it!
How do readers find out more about you?
Check out www.chasingparis.com. You could also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from readers!
Jen Carter Bio
Jen teaches English in higher education and is writing her second book, which will be released in the summer of 2013. She is happily married and resides with her beautiful family and Golden Retriever in the San Diego area.